Bankia finalizes the sale of its real estate subsidiary Bankia Habitat.

Nationalized banks continue getting rid of any business related to the construction sector. Bankia prepares the sale of its real estate subsidiary, Bankia Habitat. The operation, named Project Platform and launched at the beginning of this year, awoke the interest of more than twenty international funds and asset management companies. Now the process is in its final stage and Bankia will receive binding offers next week, according to sources well informed of the process. The proposals presented until now were not binding.

The acquirer of Bankia Habitat will assume the company, their headquarters in Madrid and Valencia, the technological platform for the management of awarded assets and 500 employees from the real estate subsidiary and the central services of Bankia. The properties and the credit to developers Bankia has in its portfolio (for 2900 million Euros and 2600 million Euros, respectively) will stay in the bank, that will sign a management agreement with the new owner. It is planned that the latter will also take charge of the assets transferred to the bad bank.

Among the international investors most interested in real estate assets who are looking for opportunities in Spain there is Morgan Stanley, Cerberus, Fortress, Apollo, Oaktree or TPG.

Bankia has covered all its affiliated shares at their market value. It still remains to see if the sale of the real estate subsidiary will be done with gains or losses. The bank presided over by José Ignacio Goirigolzarri considers that this disinvesment is key for two additional reasons: because it lowers the staff costs with the exit of 500 employees and because it allows the reduction of the number of layoffs that it needs to do according to the restructuring plan agreed with the European Commission.

Brussels demanded the cut of 6000 employees, but Bankia agreed with unions a minor adjustment: 4500 employees. The rest would come from exits of staff thanks to sales of affiliated companies, such as the case of Bankia Habitat. (…)